Fundraising appeal for air festival
A MAJOR fundraising appeal is being launched today calling on the people of north Suffolk to help pay for this summer's Lowestoft Air Festival.The popular event is being run by a private charitable company, Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Ltd, in partnership with Waveney District Council and the aim is to make the event self-financing.
By David Lennard
A MAJOR fundraising appeal is being launched today calling on the people of north Suffolk to help pay for this summer's Lowestoft Air Festival.
The popular event is being run by a private charitable company, Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Ltd, in partnership with Waveney District Council and the aim is to make the event self-financing.
Planned for July 28 and 29 this year, the air festival is recognised as one of the most popular in the country and provides a major boost to the area's economy.
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In previous years the two-day festival has been organised by Waveney District Council with the help of European Community funding.
Although the district council will still be providing essential services this year the huge cost of staging the event - estimated to be in the region of £250,000 -will be the responsibility of the new company with support from the public.
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The public appeal has the support of local banks and building societies and from Monday, many offices in the Lowestoft area will have special festival collection boxes on their counters.
In addition to public donations, the Friends of the Air Festival group has been formed.
Bruno Peek, the new company's director of communications, said: “Our aim is to enrol at least 20,000 Friends of the Air Festival. To go ahead it is essential that we raise the money up front.
“In order to minimise any risks with the air festival the event needs to be fully funded before it takes off. Where else can you go and enjoy two full days of entertainment for the whole family for only £10?
“The banks and building societies have agreed to kick-start the fundraising campaign in Lowestoft and the appeal will be widened to include the whole of Waveney.
“We have also formed the commercial friends of the air festival so that all local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, boarding houses and others can show their support.”
Mr Peek added: “Now is the time for the people of Lowestoft to show that they really want to keep the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival flying.
“They have shown in their thousands that they enjoy the event - it is established as the area's biggest event of the year.”
Anyone wishing to become a friend of the air festival should send a £10 cheque along with their name, address and telephone number to:
Friends of the Air Festival, 41 Tennyson Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR32 IPS.
Everyone who joins will receive a letter of welcome, a special full colour certificate, two pin-on badges and, when printed, a free souvenir programme.
The cost for businesses and commercial organisations to become a friend of the air festival is £30.
Anyone wishing to show their support for the air festival can either make a cash donation or write a cheque payable to Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Ltd that can be left in any of the boxes.